Setting Reasonable Fitness Goals

Setting Reasonable Fitness Goals

Who in their right mind wouldn’t aspire to Jillian Michael’s level of fitness? While it is an admirable goal, let’s face it, this woman does something called the “Dive Bomber” every day and “Circuit Two” of her “Bodyshred” workout starts off with the “Jump Jack Squat and Touch the Ground.” Just saying that is enough of a challenge for most of us. Hey, if you can do a “Hollow Man Chest Flye Combo,” more power to you, but if these things sound more like military maneuvers than workout routines to you, rest assured, you are not alone. A lot of us want to get in shape, but that doesn’t mean we can all work out like a pro every day. If you are serious about getting fit, you need to start by setting reasonable fitness goals. Nothing is more of an exercise deterrent than over-ambition.

Cardiovascular Exercise
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that adults engage in a half hour of moderate exercise daily. If you have limited time, it can be broken up into small bursts of activity throughout the day. If you’re focused on fitness training, a little more work is required, To see results, three to five cardiovascular workouts per week are recommended, done at an intensity level of 60 to 90 percent of your heart rate at its maximum. To find this number, subtract your age from 220. Novice exercisers should multiply the result by 60 to 70 %, while more advanced exercisers should multiply by 70 to 90%.

Flexibility and Strength Training
When it comes to strength training, set your goal at working major muscle groups two to three times a week, performing a minimum of one set consisting of eight – 12 repetitions. The ACSM advises light stretches done eight to 12 seconds before exercise and a post workout stretch of 20 seconds or longer. Stretches should be done to the point of slight discomfort, at which the position should be held for several seconds.

Charting Progress
Once you decide on your fitness plan, you need to make sure you’re sticking to it, and the best way to do that is to chart it. Keep track of things like your weekly measurements and weight. You may even want to take pictures of your developing muscles. and jot down notes and reminders. Try not to let a bad week keep you down, just set your goals on working harder the next week. Remember, small steps.

Forming An Exercise Habit
Here’s are a few good ways to make sure you stick with the program:

  1. Mix training with everyday activities. While you may want to spend one day at the gym, you can do some volleyball on the beach to log in your exercise time the next day. Not athletic? Walk to the store.
  2. Choose an exercise buddy. Friends that sweat together stay together.
  3. Keep healthy eating reading material around. Shape Magazine can make for excellent bathroom reading.
  4. Make your schedule easier by planning your exercise where and when it is most convenient. Plan your jogging route around the kid’s school after you drop them off.
  5. Keep a pair of tight jeans around. There’s nothing like a muffin top to encourage a vigorous workout.
  6. Have an exercise option that you can perform in your home in case the weather or your schedule does not permit you to leave the house. Exercise videos and free weights can come in handy in such cases.
  7. Experiment by working out at different times of the day. Jot down how you feel before and after the activity to find out when your optimal work out time is.
  8. Exercise when you feel depressed or stressed before reaching for food.
  9. If you’re really short on time, housework can make a great workout. Just make sure to do some extra squatting when you bend down and stretching when you dust.
  10. Make sure to make exercise a priority.

How do you make sure you keep yourself motivated and set reasonable goals? Let us know all about your goal setting for the New Year?

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